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Gender Differences


Study of differences in early ages are important since skills in these ages are ... boys are not biologically primed to outperform girls in basic mathematics ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Gender Differences

Gender Differences
  • ????

Early Numerical Abilities
  • Study of differences in early ages are important
    since skills in these ages are fundamental or
    biologically primary
  • gender difference found support for biological
  • Infancy
  • Boy and girl infants do not differ in their
    ability to discriminate small numerosities
    (discriminate 2 and 3 items or 3 and 4 items)
  • no difference in basic understanding of the
    effects of addition and subtraction on quantity

Numerical Skills in Preschool Children
  • Include ability to count and enumerate counting
    concepts (e.g., cardinality), number concepts
    (e.g., greater than)
  • 4- to 5- years girls were slightly better than
    boys on a basic addition and subtraction task.
  • Similar studies in Korea, USA, Taiwan, Japan no
    gender differences

Summary (Infancy)
  • No gender differences in infants
  • measures are probably not sensitive enough to
    detect potentially more subtle differences
  • boys are not biologically primed to outperform
    girls in basic mathematics
  • do not preclude secondary biological influences,
    i.e. biologically based skills that have evolved
    for one reason but are used for another, on the
    gender difference in mathematical problem solving
    (Benbow, 1988)

  • On solving of arithmetic equations, such as 1729
  • three perspectives
  • paper-and-pencil ability and achievement tests
  • strategy choices
  • conceptual knowledge

paper-and-pencil ability and achievement tests
  • Favoring girls in elementary school and junior
    high school years
  • meta-analysis shows that the advantage is about
    1/5 of a standard deviation
  • cross-cultural studies show that
  • advantage of girls -- in solving complex problems
  • largely an American phenomenon

Difference in Procedural Knowledge (in solving
complex problems -)
  • High no. of procedural errors in boys
  • boys more likely to subtract the smaller number
    from the larger
  • boys committed many more trading errors

Strategy Choices
  • No gender diff. In the overall distribution of
    strategy choices for solving simple addition or
    simple subtraction problems.
  • No gender diff. In mix of strategies used to
    solve simple addition problems for Chinese or
    American kindergarten children.

  • No gender difference in the understanding of
    arithmetical concepts in elementary school
    through high school
  • regions include United States, Africa, Korea,
    Taiwan, Japan, mainland China.

Mathematical Problem Solving
  • Hyde et al argued that gender difference in
    mathematical problem solving is not evident until
    adolescence, since mathematical reasoning emerges
    until high school?
  • Study on elementary school children shows boys
    outperform girls in solving arithmetic word
    problems and similar. (1/5 of a SD)
  • In another study, error patterns suggested girls
    found the tranlation of arithmetic word problems
    into appropriate equations more difficult.

  • Male college students consistently outperformed
    for solving algebraic problems (1/2 SD)
  • male advantage was reduced when important
    features of the word problems were diagrammed
  • did not generalize to nonmathematical
    problem-solving tasks

  • No other gender differences in algebraic skills
  • a 1/2 SD advantage in geometry over female peers.

Ratio of mathematically gifted U.S. adolescent
boys and girls at varying levels of SAT-M